BRC reveals only a slight sales dip following disruptive weather

Snow’s cost to retail overestimated?

Despite snow reportedly keeping shoppers away from the High Street and affected deliveries, retail put in a solid performance in December, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Sales values in the UK were down just 0.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis from December 2009 – when sales had increased 4.2 per cent. On a total basis sales were up 1.5 per cent against a 6.0 per cent increase in December 2009.

The news will be of some comfort to retailers in areas which are currently enjoying fresh snowfall, including the Scottish Borders.

The BRC’s findings have not been universally backed by individual performances from retail heavyweights. Debenhams today revealed that the snow cost it £30 million in lost sales, while Marks and Spencer said it lost between £50m and £55m in sales. Conversely home delivery firm Ocado reported a 27 per cent sales rise despite the inclement weather. Ocado chief exec Tim Steiner said other firms were using the snow as an excuse for poor performances.

Bike companies 2pure and Hotlines revealed to BikeBiz last month that while heavy snowfall had created some disruption, it was largely business as usual. South of the border, snow failed to stop distributor Jim Walker’s office move in West Sussex.

For more bike-specific retail statistics, click here for ActSmart’s November retail shop sales analysis, published in the latest edition of BikeBiz.

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